Problems in Histopathological Technique


Prepared by


IMVS Division of Pathology

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Woodville Road, Woodville, South Australia 5011





Shattering, cracked or folded sections from large blocks processed through paraffin wax.


This is a section of kidney stained Haematoxylin and Eosin showing significant cracking and staining very red.


This is a result of overdehydration. Too much moisture has been removed from the block during processing. Strangely enough cutting a good section does require that some moisture remain in the tissue.


The solution is to place a soaked cotton gauze over the block face for 5 to 10 seconds before cutting. This allows enough moisture to penetrate 15 to 20 µm allowing a quality section to be cut.




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© Roy C. Ellis 2002